Let me start off with the above so you can decide whether to continue reading or not.
The Paula Deen incident has gotten a lot of back and forth on whether she is a racist and therefore, she should be punished by losing her television show and spokesperson gigs. Or, Paula Deen was a racist at the time of the incident but that was long ago, she has since apologized and she should be forgiven.
Now, I am not a Paula Deen fan and think anyone that is overweight with diabetes and continues to push high fat, salt and sugar recipes shouldn’t be on television. I also think her hypocritical to be a paid spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk. Their main export is insulin. She disclosed her medical condition only when it benefited her in representing the drug company.
So, what’s this all about? According to a transcript of the deposition, an attorney for Jackson asked Paula Deen if she has ever used the N-word. (Ask this to anyone and be honest, most would say “yes.”)
“Yes, of course,” Deen replied, though she added: “It’s been a very long time.”
Asked to give an example, Deen recalled the time she worked as a bank teller in southwest Georgia in the 1980’s and was held at gunpoint by a robber. The gunman was a black man, Deen told the attorney, and she thought she used the slur when talking about him after the holdup. “Probably in telling my husband,” she said.
There it is in a nutshell. A private conversation with her husband discussing how a bank robber held her at gunpoint. If Paula Deen had the private conversation with me, I wouldn’t be offended by anything she called him. I put myself in her shoes and would probably say the same thing. (I feel Facebook “friends” dumping me already)
I will tell you a story that happened to my wife and I in Tennessee. I can still see her cringing, holding her tongue (thank you!) and thinking to myself that if she says something, I will be in a fight for my life and hers. Now, people that know me know that I fear no man but there was at least half a dozen of them. We were visiting a 50’s style diner where a group of gentlemen (my wife would refer to them as hillbillies) sat around shooting the breeze. One asked the other, “Hey Jim, do you still own that nigger dog?” I immediately thought Jim had a black dog but the wife’s ears perked up, her back stiffened, her eyes steeled and a snarl crossed her lips. And, they saw her reaction! So, the nigger dog was their topic of conversation for the rest of our meal. It didn’t bother me. I’m in their neck of the woods and they are talking about a dog, not a person. But, just in case, I started planning my next move which was to take out the biggest guy first and maybe the rest would let us go in peace. Problem was Junior was close to 500 pounds. Thankfully, it never came to blows.
Here is my issue. It is just a word. I gave it no power, no special meaning, and paid no mind to what other people were talking about. What’s happening to Paula Deen is overkill. If she were racist today, would she have had Michelle Obama on her show? She is a registered Democrat, admits voting for Obama and I am sure many of her companies employ minorities. I don’t think she’s a racist and how many of us have said things in private 30 years ago that we may not say now?
The word is still used today and will never go away. Rappers sell millions of recordings with no consequences. So, obviously it’s not the word but the one using it. A wanna-be black thug-rapper-gangster from Detroit or L.A. can get away with it and profit from it. An old white woman from Georgia needs to be punished. Freedom of speech? Equality for all? Hmmm?
If you have time and are not easily offended watch Louis CK and let’s share a laugh.